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The Babson Olin Symposium For Engineering Entrepreneurship Educators: Helping Engineering Faculty Teach Entrepreneurship

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Opportunities for Entrepreneurship Programs

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1255.1 - 11.1255.13

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Paper Authors

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Heidi Neck Babson College

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John Bourne Olin College

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Stephen Schiffman Olin College

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Babson-Olin Symposium for Engineering Entrepreneurship Educators: Helping Engineering Faculty Teach Entrepreneurship


The pace of innovation and change is demanding that students of engineering engage in business activities that generate social and economic value. Yet, traditional engineering education is no longer sufficient in competitive, uncertain environments. For the past 15 years we have witnessed many business schools and engineering schools form partnerships – some have succeeded but many have failed or continue to struggle. Overall, most partnerships are not meeting original expectations; various constraints are limiting the impact of such partnerships. Rather than dependence on business school faculty to teach entrepreneurship to engineering students, Babson College and Olin College of Engineering developed a program with an aim of helping engineering educators better teach entrepreneurship and build entrepreneurship into their own engineering curricula.

The Babson-Olin Symposium for Engineering Entrepreneurship Educators (SyE3) is funded by a three year grant from the National Science Foundation with additional support from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. The primary goal of Babson-Olin SyE3 is to assist engineering faculty and technology entrepreneurs in teaching and applying entrepreneurship as a core feature of engineering education. Engineering fosters innovation and is a leading source of technological progress. The collision of engineering and entrepreneurship is a value enhancing process that stimulates venture formation, economic growth, and social value.

The NSF partnership between Babson College and Olin College of Engineering is logical and both colleges have an institutional commitment to engineering entrepreneurship education. Such a commitment is marked by many shared activities and outreach development such as SyE3. Babson College, a business school founded in 1919 by entrepreneur and financier Roger Babson, is an AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accredited institution and has been ranked #1 in entrepreneurship for the past twelve years according to U.S. News & World Report. Babson has been the standard in entrepreneurship education. The College was one of the first business schools to offer entrepreneurship courses and it hails as a benchmark for curriculum development.1 The entrepreneurial spirit of the college is evident through our core values of integrity, diversity, innovation, collaboration, and excellence that are manifested in the mission of the college: “Babson College educates men and women to be entrepreneurial leaders in a rapidly changing world. We prepare them to identify opportunities and initiate actions that result in genuine accomplishment.”2

The Olin College of Engineering is located adjacent to Babson College near Boston, MA. Olin was founded in 1997 and the first class was enrolled in the fall of 2002. The vision of the College and its subsequent curriculum development is a triumvirate of “superb engineering” in conjunction with the arts and business and entrepreneurship.3 The Olin mission is one of vision and passion for change: “Olin College prepares future leaders through an innovative engineering education that bridges science and technology, enterprise, and society. Skilled in independent

Neck, H., & Bourne, J., & Schiffman, S. (2006, June), The Babson Olin Symposium For Engineering Entrepreneurship Educators: Helping Engineering Faculty Teach Entrepreneurship Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois.

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